The R/V Sally Ride
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Looking back at 2021 as Omicron clouds gather for 2022

A sunny good morning, Santa Cruz! It’s Thursday, Dec. 30 — and it’s chilly to be sure, with a mainly clear day not expected to warm us up beyond the low 50s. But we’ll get a chance to dry out just a bit heading into 2022.

This is the last Morning Lookout newsletter of 2021, and I’ve got plenty for you:

Let’s dig in.

Looking back at 2021: October-December

Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills.
(Grace Stetson / Lookout Santa Cruz)

We wind up our look back at 2021 with the top local stories in October, November and December, including a farewell from Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills. Revisit the past few months here.

FIND THE WHOLE SERIES: Looking back at 2021

Unvaccinated young adults, public spaces a concerning combo

(Via Pixabay)

If you’re treating the Omicron moment as you did Delta or pre-Delta, “you’re virtually guaranteed to get infected,” the county’s deputy health officer says. Read more here from Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda.

MORE ON THE SURGE: With Omicron exploding ‘incredibly fast,’ officials urge caution in coming days (Los Angeles Times)

COVID-19 updates in Santa Cruz County

Michael Stremfel prepares a COVID-19 booster shot at Flintridge Pharmacy in La Cañada Flintridge.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Santa Cruz County’s increasing positivity rate could actually be worse than reported, health officials said, noting that fewer tests are being officially reported. Get the latest data here.

MORE: New Year’s parties? Indoor dining? Skiing? Which activities are safe as Omicron spreads (Lookout)

UCSC provides updated guidelines for beginning of winter quarter

UCSC student walks through halls
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

UC Santa Cruz will start with two weeks of online-only instruction, and the entire University of California system will mandate COVID-19 booster shots for eligible students and staff. Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda has the updates here.

BOOSTERS AND MORE: Vaccine update: Rates, where to find a COVID shot or test; wait, cost and turnaround times (Lookout)

Presented by Kaiser Permanente

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Unprecedented coronavirus cases have officials urging scaled-back New Year’s celebrations

Champagne flutes and a champagne bottle
(Via Pixabay)

The warnings come as the nationwide number of newly confirmed COVID-19 infections roared to a record high and hospitalizations in California and elsewhere continue to increase. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times talk to experts.

Around the county ...

Coroner identifies bodies found in creeks (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Watsonville’s Bridge Street homeless camp cleared out (The Pajaronian)
Elderly couple found dead in apparent murder-suicide in Watsonville (KION-TV)
‘We were terrified’: Bay Area surfers chased by unusually aggressive shark (SF Gate)

That’s it for now, but stay tuned to Lookout as we head down the stretch of this most unusual year. Bookmark our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — and get our Best Bets newsletter (coming later today) and more by visiting our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center.

And if you’re not a member already, or want to start a special someone’s 2022 off right with the gift of local journalism, consider a Lookout membership. Our content isn’t possible without community support.

Have a great day, and a safe, healthy New Year’s! I’ll see back here in 2022.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

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